Mongolian steppe it ain’t! We had so much fun riding horse in Mongolia that we were really looking forward to this experience in Tibet. In short – it was disappointing. The long of it was that instead of being one-on-one with a guide, we were in a group of about twelve people, and ALL, absolutely ALL of them were women, except for Alek… I think usually that would make him happy, but you have to understand that most people who come to Tibet are quirky and really strong minded. Many women travel alone, because it’s safe, but having been by themselves for a while, they become REALLY chatty when given a chance.
The other thing was the horses. The strongest horses we got had just raced the day before, and wouldn’t put out for us. These horses come from local villages. The way it works, a bus of tourists (us) arrives in the morning with some local and western guides (two Canadian girls in our case). The local guides go off to get the horses, while the western guides explain the ins and outs of riding a horse. The question is, if they come here all the time, can’t they know when each of the villages is having their races and avoid getting their horses the next day? This isn’t good for the horse, either. To be fair, they do encourage villagers to take good care of the horse and pay more for healthy-looking beasts (as one of the guides liked to call them). So, pretty soon it became apparent that we were doomed to have a view of another horse’s behind for most of the day. Alek got one of the race horses at first, but after a couple of hours we reshuffled to accommodate everyone better and some how he got stock with a really stubborn one (probably because he was doing pretty well in the beginning). I asked for something faster, and got put on the other racing horse, which also had a nice western saddle (as oppose to just rugs tied around horse’s belly). The nice thing about riding a race horse, even a tired one, is that at lease it doesn’t poke its face into another horse’s butt. As far as getting some wind in my hair, there was may be a whole of two minutes of that in the whole day, all in really short sprints. Alek had it worse. His horse would keep wandering of the trail, which wasn’t bad in itself, but it didn’t really know how to deal with bumps and holes in the ground, so it kept tripping (Mongolian horses were really good about at avoiding obstacles, btw). At some point enduring the effects of the bouncing in the saddle became not worth it for him and he decided to lead the horse by its reins.
Category:Travel and Places
Keywords:horse, riding, tibet
© Alek & Tanya